It has been a few weeks now since Ayr Rugby began their phased return-to-play protocols, and Ayr/Wellington Minis Convenor Ben Chittock has hailed the transition a success thus far.

(Image - Minis Convenor Ben Chittock in attendance at the last Ayrshire Bulls game before lockdown. SNS//SRU) For all of the minis, it has been the return of their favourite Sunday activity, but it has been a completely new experience in many regards. Track and trace registration, modified games, regular equipment washes and socially distanced coaches are just a handful of new measures introduced to ensure player safety is paramount during delivery. All sessions are monitored and adhere to guidance from both Scottish Rugby and the Scottish Government. Despite the new challenges Ben Chittock is delighted with how things have gone so far: “The first few weeks have been great. As a club, we have put a lot of work into getting back to rugby and the processes are working really well. “One of the challenges has been allowing the young players to ‘self-referee’ with many dubious decisions! It has been especially difficult for our P4s who were excited to start tackling this year, hopefully, they won’t have to wait long”.

(Image - Ben with his son, Jack. George McMillan) Ben was also delighted with how well the youngsters have embraced the new normal: “They have adapted brilliantly. The overwhelming response has been that they are just delighted to be back playing with their friends. “As coaches, our priority has been on making sure the kids have lots of fun. They missed out on a lot over lockdown and it’s been great to see them laughing and playing with their friends again”. The Ayr/Wellington youth section continues to grow from strength-to-strength and has weathered adversity with a can-do attitude. To conclude, Ben had the following message: “Well done to all the mini players on adapting so well. It’s great to be on the road back. If any boys or girls would like to join us, get in touch!” You can get in touch with the minis section by emailing If you want to support Rugby’s return to Millbrae, please donate below: